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ESTATE PLANNING FOR DISABLED PERSONS

Most people are under the impression that a mentally incompetent person is incapable of creating a will and/or trust. In fact, under Illinois statutory and case law, a disabled, incompetent person is capable of establishing an estate plan through a surrogate decision maker and with the approval of the probate court. A recent Illinois appellate court decision confirmed this principle.

Under the Probate Act, an estate plan can be established for a disabled person through the determination of the ward’s objective “best interest.” A surrogate decision maker will attempt to determine and show the court the decisions the ward would make if he or she were competent to do so. In the event that such wishes cannot be clearly shown, the court will be guided by the more objective “best interest” standard.

About Alan Sohn

Alan E. Sohn received his Juris Doctorate from the College of Law of the University of Illinois. Mr. Sohn has been a partner in both large and smaller law firms and for the past 21 years has been in private practice. Mr. Sohn is admitted to practice law by the Illinois Supreme Court, the Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He is also a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Illinois State Bar Association.

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